China investments in Africa boom

March 20, 2013 at 7:16 AM

BEIJING, March 20 (UPI) -- China's trade with Africa is booming as Chinese investments in the continent soar, Chinese officials and experts say.

The official China Daily reported Wednesday a growing number of Chinese companies are investing in Africa where they see big opportunities. China is already Africa's largest trading partner.

"China and Africa are good friends, good brothers and good partners. China has actively supported African countries in developing their infrastructure and economy," said Li Zhaoxing, president of China Public Diplomacy Association.

"China will speed up investment in Africa. China's new president Xi Jinping will attend the fifth leaders' summit of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] in South Africa. The visit by the new president will give impetus to the strengthening cooperation between China and African countries."

Chinese official data showed China-Africa trade reached a high of more than $160 billion in 2011, up 28 percent from 2010. China Daily said the volume for 2012 is estimated to have surpassed $200 billion.

At the end of 2011, China's direct investment in Africa reached almost $15 billion, with more than 2,000 Chinese companies currently invested in Africa, the report said.

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